Showing posts with label My Ramblings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My Ramblings. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Deaf not dumb

"Any language is just a language, a mode of communication"

If anyone is not able to communicate in the most acceptable language; should the person be treated as an outcast?

We talk a lot about bias prevalent in our society against specific gender, castes, religion, region etc but the most common bias we have is against people who are suffering from any kind of physical or mental limitation.

How many times have we ignored or have been biased towards anyone with any limitation or any deformity? Have we even considered giving them the chance of a normal life?

Have we ever questioned the definition of being normal?

Think what is life without a sound? What is the importance of a sound, a hush, a child’s cry, a loud giggle, a sob, a heart to heart and a gossip?

We may never be able to answer this question, because we can never create an absence of sound. Yes there are a lot of forms of physical limitations that we can create, experience and try to empathise but we can’t erase sound and we can’t understand the pain of its absence.

Hearing disability/limitation is hence more difficult to understand and empathise. And it is very easy to put deafs in the bracket of Deaf and dumb!!

But being deaf is not being dumb and being deaf is not being abnormal.

One my closest friend has a 6 year old daughter who cannot hear. I have seen her struggle, struggle with people, struggle with family and struggle with herself with each passing day.

I have been asked multiple times why does she not attend a special school in our neighbourhood. That school is designed for children with mental limitations, not for children with hearing disability. And even after explaining this most of them are not able to see the difference. If the child can’t hear, the child is deaf and dumb or has a mental illness.

All disabilities are kept in the same basket. All disabled are outcasts in our society.

The child in focus here did her pre-primary at normal schools (schools teaching in English language with no training in sign language). The last school was very nice, she was loved and they did try but no one was trained to handle a child with hearing disability and hence they struggled.

She was old enough to know basic concept of numbers and written language but she had limited knowledge. The parents had limited knowledge. After a lot of struggle they have finally managed to figure out a school dedicated to people/children with hearing disability.

Now the child is repeating her pre primary. Learning and unlearning things. But last few years have been a nightmare for parents and the kid. There was a lot of frustration of not knowing any way to help inspite of having the best information source readily available. These were parents who are highly educated settled in one of the biggest cities in India. I shiver to think about parents in smaller cities and having limited access to information.

One question has been eating me for years,How do we help them, support them?

In the context of this question, the efforts of Ruma Roka and Noida Deaf Society are commendable.

“The Vision of Noida Deaf Society is to mainstream the Deaf people into the community through specialized vocational programs leading to gainful employment”

A peek into it here:

This video and her ideas were like a breath of fresh air. First few seconds shocked me; yes this is what I have been trying to communicate for years “Absence of sound”. And she did it in such an easy and simplified manner.

It was so refreshing to see someone not going through this in any form, and still showing this much empathy. Not only did she empathise but she jumped in to help, support and guide them for a better future.

If she can do it why can’t we?

Isn’t it just an adjustment of our belief of what is normal and what is not?

Why do we have the need to typecast and put everything in brackets defined already?

There is a need, a need to be sensitive about looking at things which do not fall in the bracket of normal. We need to first look at ourselves and question how comfortable are we to embrace someone not able to communicate with us in our language.

Don’t we try and communicate with someone who doesn’t talk/understand the languages we know? Yes we do!

So why can’t we look at hearing disability like that only. The person is just unable to communicate in a verbal language but that is not a judgement of that person’s intellect or efficiency.

We need to make a change and internalise the fact that any person’s efficiency is not driven by his/her Gender, cast, religion and physical abilities.

I urge anyone who knows any person with this disability to become more sensitive, support more, treat them normally and interact with them more.

Hence come the point, what can we do as an individual and as a society?

1) Wipe off the definition of normal and abnormal and be sensitive towards differently abled: This is a change that needs to happen at an individual level. We need to be more sensitive and we need to teach our next generation to be more sensitive towards people who do not fall in the normal bracket.

2)Communicate with people with hearing disability: Yes do not gape and run away. Try and communicate. Interact like normal human beings. They are as normal as we are; it is just a hearing disability. It is not a benchmark of their efficiency. They can be excellent readers, can hold any professional position!

Some of the things that can be taken care of while communicating with people with hearing disability:

1.Pay attention: Pay more attention than normal because they are talking with hands and gestures.

2.  Don’t get distracted by sounds around you

3. Stay in their sight

4.Do not yell, they can’t hear you. Verbal signs/Lip movements without sounds also will work.

5. Be patient and polite

6. If you are not efficient at signs and are not able to communicate properly, try putting it down on a paper or if mobile is more handy you can always type and communicate.

7. Deaf people especially children are more energetic and hyper than normal because that is one way of taking out energy physically for them. Again be patient.

8. The physical boundaries of deaf people are different then people who can hear. It may not be okay to touch people you don’t know normally but when you are communicating with anyone with hearing disability, it is okay to touch them on shoulders or arm to draw their attention. And be prepared for the same from them.

9.   There are a lot of ways of communicating with a deaf person even if we don’t know sign language. We just need to put in extra efforts, not feel awkward and be patient

3)Children should be taught in schools the value of being sensitive towards people with disability. This education should start at an early age, before opinions are formed or firmed. This can be aided with live examples of meeting such kids. Some of the ideas are
·         Common games
·         Educational project
·         Extracurricular activities etc

Of course this is possible only if led by a group of teachers trained in sign language, aiding and guiding the interaction.

4)Same process can be led at a professional level also. If companies are reluctant in directly hiring them, it can be project led. A common forum can be organized to see how all of them can interact more easily and work in a convenient environment.

5)Communicate and promote Role models: There are a lot of successful people with hearing disability. Promote them in schools and colleges. This will not only provide a positive boost to the people with hearing disability but also serve as a witness of their efficiency.  

Ofcourse as I have been saying, it is important that we change our attitude towards things that are different than normal. This change has to start at grass root level. At my and your home. Lets teach our children the values of being sensitive and treating everyone as equal without any bias.

If they are accepted with open arms without any hesitations, all other initiatives will automatically follow.

Let’s all work together, not focus on their disability and accept them as normal “Normal people with different abilities”

To volunteer for Noida Deaf society please click here

This post is written for The Idea Caravan contest by Franklin Templeton Investments partnered with the TEDxGateway Mumbai and Indiblogger 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Do you manage kids?

I was asked recently how do I manage my 4 year old? How do I discipline him? And what is my game plan now that he is growing up? And I didn’t know how to answer. I thought for very long but couldn’t come up with an answer. I really don’t know If I manage him..if I have a strategy, a game plan!

Do you need a strategy or a game plan for your kids? I don’t have one. I don’t manage my kids. I don’t have a ready made plan where they would fit in. Each day is different and I am learning each day.

Though I never thought of it consciously earlier but now I have realised that kids learn from me and you. I really believe if I set in a good example they will follow it. I did lay down rules for some acceptable and unacceptable behaviour but he does not and will not follow it because I will tell him to. (I wish it was that easy). 

There have been times when I had to speak it out, reiterate what is right and wrong. There have been times of time out, of misbehaviours but even then I would want him to understand right and wrong on his own and follow correct behaviour. I do not want him to apologize because I am angry or because I said so. I want him to learn from his mistakes and not repeat the same mistakes. Ofcourse I am there to guide, to support, to spell it out but he has to learn on his own. He has to understand and see the difference between right and wrong.

As adults we also falter, misbehave but it is okay as long as we know the difference between right and wrong. Same goes for kids...they are kids, of course they will make mistakes, misbehave, hurt you, hurt themselves, and hurt others. As I see it, this is not the problem. The problem would be if the child is not conscious on his own that his behaviour was not correct. As parents we can keep reiterating that this is right and this is wrong but a child would learn best from live examples.

 I have recently been questioning myself a lot...Am I conscious that he is watching and learning everything from me? I will be frank I was not;  but now as he is growing up I see him picking a lot of things from me, This has made me self conscious.

There have been days when he has sulked and misbehaved a lot, in retrospect I do realise that there could be things that he picked from me. There were my bad moods that may have spilled over to him. Hence I have learned to behave, to follow more rights and do less wrongs.

No I don’t manage him, rather I don’t know if you can manage kids but I am learning and growing up with him as a parent.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Is there a bad mother?

When you become a parent, more specifically a mother two things invariably happen. One you become an invisible member of all parents groups in the world and two your life becomes an open book for everyone and anyone to judge and give advice.

In my last 4.5 years of being a mother, I have been judged, criticized and applauded for same practice innumerable times. Each day as a parent I encounter parenting specialists who have a ready-made solution for everything. These specialists include my neighbors,  my maid, friend of a neighbor,  relative of a neighbor,  friends, Aunties from my building, Uncles from my building, Aunties on the road, Uncles on the road etc etc....

Parenting is a specialization that doesn’t require any professional knowledge. Infact you don’t even have to be a parent to judge and pass advice to other parents. As long as you have eyes and you know how to talk, you are eligible to advise, criticize and comment.

As a mother I am always trying my best like all mothers and as a mother I do not appreciate advice from people who are not parents or who have not brought up kids...young, old..I don’t care. If you have not experienced parenting in any form, you have no idea what is right for my kids. Do not stand from a distance and judge others, if you have guts jump in and then we will talk. I don’t mind experienced advice. But what I do mind is “Being forced to take the advice”.

I should have the freedom to decide whether I want to take the advice for my kid or not. All recommendations stemming from experience are welcome but still it doesn’t give a right to anyone to judge. And I shouldn’t be expected to follow all advice.

No mother is a bad mother because she decides differently from you or she does things which are not accepted norms.

Again what is accepted in one family/circle/society/religion is different from others. So in effect every mother will be a bad mother by some criteria or other.

Earlier I thought because I am an inexperienced mother that’s why may be I am a vulnerable target but second time around, no such reasons. Same advice, same recommendations and same judgements. It doesn’t help that I have a 4 year old very well behaved child who eats well, sleeps on time, is socially active and physically fit (Apologies for bragging).

I do try to not let this affect me too much but there is so much clutter of information that it does reach me, there is so much judgement about everything that it does make me question my decisions.

Parenting and motherhood is one of the most difficult jobs in the world and every child is different. With so many judging eyes any mother is bound falter, to make mistakes. I really urge everyone to please step back and give us a break. I truly believe in my heart that every mother has her kid’s best interest in her mind. Give her the benefit of doubt, Let her be.

"I am struggling, getting up, falling down, learning and unlearning each day as a mother. Don't cast a shadow, just help me grow"

Image flicker

Friday, 14 June 2013

High heels unlimited

My dream gourmet party is a grand bachelorette party in honor of my best friend. Lets start with the Invite!!

A grand bachelorette party for my best friend Jodha (Calling her this because of her fascination for Drama, Mughlai food and huge neck pieces) with the theme “High heels unlimited”. The theme is in accordance with Jodha's love affair with high heels since she started walking. No one has seen her wear anything but a high heel (this includes all outings...Spa, shopping, camps, college, office, home etc etc).Jodha aka J is stepping into marital bliss in a few days and like any good friend I want to make sure that she makes the most of last few free days left in singlehood. Hence “I am throwing the biggest-baddest” party for her.

Now let’s get to the nitty gritty of the party

Number of guests: Just our core group of 15 uber cool divas.

Ambiance: Miss B (A dear friend of J) who is famous for throwing the most outrageous and fun parties is helping me with the arrangements. Her farm house on the outskirts of Mumbai has been converted into a Diva place and we are re-christening it as “Club Gorgeous”

The overall feel of our party is chic and trendy and going with the theme of party except for the black cocktail dress nothing black is allowed in the party room.

The floor will be donned with different colors of balloons; the room will be branded with high heels all around: 
  • High heel standees placed at entrance and few other spots. 
  • High heels cut outs hanging from the ceiling 
  • High heel styled chairs will be used for seating arrangements 
  • Special care has been given on a lot of branding like cutlery, Glasses, decoration around the room like lights etc have been styled as high heels 

J' loves Mughlai food hence I have tried to blend Mughlai with our chic theme. 

We took help of J’s one of her best friend  

J' is an avid cook and loves her food but like all working women she has little time at hand. I remember her struggling in the kitchen for hours to dish up yummy Mughlai dishes....but it use to be so much work that we would have the pleasure of tasting it very rarely....but one day one of her colleague introduced her to ITC's Kitchens of India and cooking changed for J' after that.

Not only she regularly uses ITC's Kitchens of India masala mixes but whenever we broke into her house uninvited and demand delicious mughlai food...ready to dine options from ITC's Kitchens of India have rescued her. 

So in a way ITC's Kitchens of India has become an integral part of our friends group and all our get togethers. So for one of the most important party for J' I decided to blend her two best friends High heels and ITC's Kitchens of India!!

We used different vegetarian products (Because J' is strictly vegetarian) which are J’s favorites and blended them with our chic theme. The result is the food and drinks menu shown below:


Orange bolds
Orange juice,shredded mango and fresh mint

Red Stiletto
 Vodka/Sprite with strawberry and mint conserve

Hot heels
Vodka/Sprite, orange juice and tomato and chilly chutney

Sling back
Vodka/Sprite, Pineapple & pepper and hint of lime

Gin/Sprite with Pineapple juice and Mango jeera

Vodka/Sprite with Mango & saffron conserve & chocolate syrup

Spicy triangles  
A variation to our friend Samosas. These triangles will be baked and we will have two kind of fillings ( We will use two of J's favorite from ITC's Kitchens of India's Ready to dine options and the gravy will be dried off a bit to use as filling for triangles)

For spice lovers like me Mirch Salan fillos 
And for Panner lovers, Mughlai Paneer triangles

Vegi wedges

Crisp carrots, bell peppers, potato, mushrooms baked after coating with yoghurt mixed with Vegetable Biryani Mix, roasted in oven and served hot n fresh

Dal fritters 
Yummy dal fritters...deep fried for calorie lovers. We will mix ready to dine ready to eat Dal Bukhara with chickpea flour and basic spices and deep fry the culprit!!!! 

These starters will be served hot and fresh with two special chutneys from ITC's Kitchens of India


Main course

Makhmali kofte
Paneer Malai mixed with chichkpea flour and basic spices. Shaped into koftas and deep fried. Served with a gravy prepared with Paneer Makhani Mix and fresh cream

Baked mushroom and vegetables 

Marinated paneer stuffed in pepper

Kashmiri khatte baigan

Brown rice pilaf 
Twist to the traditional biryani with brown rice. Will be cooked with Vegetable Biryani Mix to enhance the flavors.

Roti/Naan/Wheat bread 

White chocolate, cardamom and Moong Dal Halwa pannacotta
Almond fudge with chocolate icecream made with Awadhi Badam Halwa

And last but not the least Shoe styled “Bachelorette cake”

Entertainment: I have planned numerous fun games for the party. Since the theme is High heels most of the games are styled around heels

1. First and foremost entry to the party zone will be allowed only after getting branded by the "High heel Unlimited" stamp at the entrance.

2. Awards” Best heel”: Ofcourse we will have the biggest award of the night "The best heels". This will be judged by J. And the winner will get a sachet specially printed for the occasion "Miss best heels".

3. Whoz heel is it anyway: Snaps of each pair taken at entrance. All the girls will be provided with cue cards and the snaps of heels will be projected. We will have to match the heel with the face. One with highest correct guess will win 

4. Dress up the heel: All the extra ugly heels will be thrown together in a basket. Girls will be blindfolded and they will pick up one random pair without looking. Each will have to provide a makeover to the heels with the decoration material they are carrying in next 10 min........turn the ugly ducking into cindrella, the one with most creativity will win. 

5. The Shoe quiz? Not a serious but funky shoe facts quiz and the winner will receive a specially designed sachet "I know the heels".

And last but not the least we would groove to J's favorite Rock bands Pink floyd and Metallica till wee hours in the morning..

This shall conclude one of the most happening parties of this year of our group!!

These are the nitty gritty of my grand party......Got to run, have to post invites, shop and order from ITC's Kitchens of India....

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Letters to future

Smriti was waiting patiently, it was her 25th birthday, Vikas has thrown her a surprise party and all her friends were there but her heart was not there. Amrita had called in the morning, after so many years but Smriti recognised her voice in a second, how could she not?

She had grown up with her, they practically were twins for first 18 yrs of their life before Smiriti left Bhopal for Mumbai and after that they gradually lost touch. Smiriti had infact forgotten about her...completely.

Amrita’s call in the morning brought back a lot of happy memories. Memories of fun,  fights, laughters and love and amongst those were a memory of her 15th birthday.

Memory of a pact...memory of a letter written 10 years back.

Photo by Ramas Gecas
Amrita had called to tell her that she has posted her letter last week and Smiriti should have gotten the letter by now.

In her heart Smiriti knew that she would be getting the letter anytime now. This thought was giving her chills.

This was a letter from 15 year old Smiriti to 25 year old Smiriti. It was a pact between two best friends to chalk out a future plan for their life....

She vaguely remembered writing the letter, with a lot of hope and excitement. She really hoped that she has not disappointed 15 yr old Smriti.

The bell rang and the letter had found her way to Smiriti’s house.She excused herself from the party and tentatively opened the letter.

“Hey Me!!...congrats you are 25 year old today and this is what I think you are as a 25 year old young lady
You have finished your education and are employed somewhere
You are under 50 kgs of weight, have no braces and can be called “Hot”
Not living in Bhopal
Not living with parents
Have a boyfriend/prospective husband
Have travelled to atleast one continent
I want to add a lot more to the list but I know you would still be a mortal soul at 25 this should be enough 
PS: If by any chance you have not achieved anything or everything from the above list and you still live here with Ma Baba...You dork!!!!!!!! I still love you and I am sure you would have achieved the most important thing by now.
You are “Happy and content” with whatever you are, and I am proud of you!!!”

Smriti was really surprised after reading the letter, even at 15 years of young age, she had the wisdom to foresee a really simple and uncomplicated life. 

And she was relieved that she had fulfilled almost all the wishes on her list (she was an MBA, quite good looking, working for one of the best business houses in India, was married last month and there is one extra little surprise to look forward to) but above all she was very happy and content with her life.

She immediately called Amrita to tell her that she will keep the pact and write a letter to 35 year old Smriti and will mail it to Amrita soon.

Ten years down the line.....

Smriti had just finished a very important meeting and had clenched a client from competition’s jaws. There was celebration in office, people were shouting her name, there was a long queue of colleagues waiting to congratulate her, to shake her hands but Smriti knew all these will go back and openly speculate about her success in the company...each and every one of them. She had moved up...reached a rank in the organisation that others only dreamt of..

Smriti knew she had climbed the success ladder directly or indirectly stepping on all their dreams but she didn’t care. She had no friends but she didn’t care. She is living the dream of any middle class girl from a small town.

Suddenly she realised her cellphone was ringing. She thought it has to be some stupid client at this unearthly was a familiar number. She strained her eyes and her memory, what is this number? Ohh its from Bhopal...May be Ma was finally calling her back.

She hurriedly picked up the phone and was shocked to hear the voice on the other end. It was Amrita, calling her to wish her a happy birthday and to inform her that her letter had reached her home address.

Smiriti with a lot of difficulty mumbled a thank you and kept the phone down. All her old memories came rushing back, they were pushing the old vulnerable Smriti to come out. She couldn’t take it anymore and ran from the office not caring for the gaping eyes at her face...Why is her face wet? Why can’t she see properly? Is it raining? Oh god she couldn’t believe it she was crying. After years she was crying and she thought that her tears had dried up after Vikas left her 3 years back.

She reached home and the letter was at the door waiting for her.She took a deep breath and realized she will have to open the letter and read it, for her own sanity.

“Hey Mumma...wish you a very happy 35th birthday...
I know you are a very happy and doting mom (I sincerely hope it would be 2 kids by now)
I hope you have a very successful career
Vikas has managed to break even in his business and is earning profits now
You are under 60 kgs
And a yum mum (You know what i mean!!!)
PS: It’s ok if you do not have a successful career I have heard it can be difficult to manage both career and kids. I am very proud of you and I know you are still happy and content”

With the letter the world came crashing down around Smriti, she remembered when she was writing this letter she had just realised she was expecting.....

The old painful memories were coming back "How she was offered a very lucrative offer in US immediately after her 25th birthday with a condition to join immediately, how she decided to terminate the pregnancy without telling Vikas...she remembered his hurt face when he came to know about it"

And post that they just drifted apart but she never realised how drastically things were changing.

She remember the day 4 years back, her doctor told them that it will be very difficult for them to conceive if they waited any longer. This was the first warning sign...

Vikas wanted to try right away and was willing to throw away anything for it. He begged and reminded her how much she wanted a kid when they first got married. But she thought she was still young (Though in her heart she knew may be her body was saying something else but she pushed the feeling down) and accepted her next project.

Her body kept telling her to slow down, warning her that there was something wrong, something is dying inside, something is changing forever but she kept ignoring and burying the voice down.

Finally 3 years back she decided to do the tests.....her worst fears came true. Her body had given up, the chances of them conceiving was very rare. 

By that time Vikas and her marriage was already on the rocks and this proved to be the last straw.

Smiriti was holding the letter and crying inconsolably. How did she reach where she was?She has not only distanced herself from anyone who loved her but she has also distanced herself from everything she loved and ever wanted from her life. She has disappointed even her 25 year old self

There were so many warning signs...she knew in her heart something was wrong. The reminder was there...days after days, months after months. Why did she not see those warning signs?? Rather why did she see the warning signs and still ignore them?

Then suddenly she realised the warning signs are still there and now she will do something about them. Smriti forced herself to get up and made a promise to herself 

"She will sculpt a better life for the 45 year old Smriti"

This post has been written as an entry for Colgate Total’s ‘The Moral of the Story is…!’competition on IndiBlogger. Find out more at My Healthy Speak Blog

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Raise stop raised hands

“Thad” came the sound and Vipul came running out of his room....alas his worst fears came true. His Ma was on the floor and Baba was pouncing on her again. For a 10 year old this was too much to bear every night.
He thought to himself "No I cannot let this happen to Ma again and will I be able to look at my own face after looking at the blues and bruises of Ma’s", so inspite of repeated warnings of his dad he budged in and held his dad's hand...tightly....very tightly...with all the strength of a 10 yr old....

“Thad”...came a sound again and...again...and a physical impact which was enough to throw Vipul down on the ground.

It was not from his dad but from his mom...with a scream “How can you hold your dad’s hands and threaten him....he is a of the husband, your dad...he can do whatever he wants....”

22 years down the line, same household...same sounds...Thad...Fhat....thad!!!

Vipul was violently pouncing on his wife in front of his parents....and no one stopped him. People passing by the house could hear the slaughter but no one cared to even stop, this was normal, every day occurring.

(Legacy continues!!)

In the same house eight year old Ajay and ten year old Asha were looking from the corner.....
Asha " Ajay it will be alright. Don't worry, Ma said it is ok"
Ajay "No this is not can this be okay? Why should Baba beat up Ma just because he is a man?? Don't you remember what Teacher didi said? Man and woman are equal and no man should raise his hand on a woman. Teacher di is right....this is wrong and we will fight against it"

Ajay and Asha jumped to their mom’s rescue, in process got beaten up themselves several times but with each beating their values against violence became more and more strong....(with constant counselling and support of teacher didi)

(Correct Education had pierced through the thick walls of this house....Now change was inevitable)

Few more years down the line...

Same house but it exudes happiness and glow. People passing by can still hear noise but the noise is from kids playing, laughing. The deafening sound of kids running towards him, the smile and twinkle in his wife’s eyes when he enters the house  makes each day worth living for Ajay.......The change has happened...

This is a happy home....full of love, care, laughters and bliss.....Amay and Kriti both know how much Ma and Baba love each other and love both of them....(equally)

And in a neighboring town, Asha was in the kitchen hurriedly finishing up cooking. She has to help Puja (her 8 year old daughter) with her studies and complete her office project file also. Her husband was out of station.She heard loud noises from her neighbors house,fearing the worst she ran towards the house and saw the husband raising his hand to hit his wife and kids....


The sound was from the wife, raising her hand to stop the blow and shutting the door after leaving the house.

Asha took a deep breath...a relieved breath. Her conversation with the neighbor has had some impact. Finally she realized it was not right and stood up against the violence

(Legacy of education and righteousness will continue)..

This was a fictional depict the existence and reason behind existence of domestic violence in our country.

Yes...the abuser is mostly man of the house but Is the man really responsible for this behaviour?


Women are responsible....responsible for thinking getting beaten up by their husbands is okay and they impart the same education to their sons and daughters...who in turn would become the abuser and abusee....

It’s high time we realize that we need to change our social system based on gender bias. It is high time that we intervene through correct education and create a parallel system based on gender equality.

We do not need to educate only men...ofcourse we should talk to men also but the primary education needs to be provided to the woman and children of the house.

A woman should be educated and counselled about all the legal rights she has. Rights not against men but rights similar and equal to men...and she should be encouraged to pass on and share this knowledge with her children.

And all children compulsorily should be educated about gender equality at school. There should be programs specially designed for this starting at an early age of 5-6 years..

And last but not the least it is a responsibility of each and every parent to educate and practice gender equality at home.......same rules, same rights and same punishments for both boys and girls.

This will be more difficult for parents of boys (Yes boys not girls) because it is easy to teach any capable girl that you are capable no matter what anyone says....but it will be far more difficult to teach boys that you are capable only basis your efficiency and not because of your gender......

Let’s bring it out in open, bring it in our households...let’s take an initiative and talk about it with our kids today and on every possible occasion in future....

Let’s make homes safer for women 

This post is written with a focus on domestic violence, as a part of the initiative “Ring the bell for Indi Change” propelled by

Image courtsey

Thursday, 30 May 2013

"Awesome Himachal"

“Awesome” One word to describe my days spent in Himachal though I covered a very small portion of the beautiful state in a very short time, I am in love with its natural beauty and can’t wait to go back again and explore it in more details.

It was magical, serene, alive, idyllic and a land of smiles.....I have never seen people so happy and chirpy everywhere I looked. What made it more special was, it was the first place we ever visited as a family of 4, yes!!! My own family of 4 :-)

If I really want to write about my trip to my heart’s content, I would have to start a new blog dedicated to I have decided to sum it up in few things that I would love to share with everyone.

Here we go, highlights of my trip:

Our stay: After a lot of research and considerations to a lot of things we finalised on 2 places to stay. The first one was “Bird and Chirps” a home stay about 2 kms out of Dalhousie  The place is not only amazing; it is a breath taking property. You have one of the best views of the valley from any room. We decided to try a home stay because we were travelling with 2 small kids and we wanted comfort of home away from home. We were not disappointed at all. The hospitality of the owners was par excellence, from one amazing meal after another, to looking after the kids while we were eating, to sending milk for kids daily without fail-without even asked for it, to all the guests eating together, to the host waiting for the last guest to was true personification of the saying “Athiti devo bhava”.

From there we moved to Mc leodgunj, to a fully commercial hotel. At Mc leodgunj we were looking for some privacy and wanted to spend the last 2 days just idling away but we didn’t want to miss the amazing views of the valley. Our hotel “Triund” gave us all. From a warm and friendly staff, to an amazing view and good food, we loved everything about the place.

View from our room @ Dalhousie

View @ Mc Leodgunj

We made a conscious decision to not travel to Himachal during snow, because of a lot of reasons like both the kids are too small to remember snow later, and both are highly susceptible to cold....etc etc

This gave us an opportunity to travel to a lot of places around Dalhousie and Dharamshala which are normally closed down because of snow. A snapshot of it is posted below

Kalatop @ Dalhousie

Mc Leodgunj

Mc Leodgunj

Dharamshala stadium

The inseparables
Both our kids though were very friendly at home but I never did notice how close they are. This can be because I am always around them and it’s mostly three of us together. During the trip I realized how much both of them are dependent on each other. My younger one who was only about 11 months refused to be without his brother even for 1 minute, he wanted to do everything that the elder one was doing (Witness below) and was not ready to leave him even for a minute. Their interaction and love for each other was heart warming.
My life

My life

Lookkkkkk below the table!!!!!!!!!!!

My life

The people
One of the memories for me will always be happy and talkative people. The simplicity and naivety of them was heart melting. Here I would like to mention the members of both the places where we stayed. At Mcloedgunj our elder son fell sick and the staff of “The Triund” were so sweet and caring towards him.....because of their compassionate behaviour even the illness didn’t bring down our spirits...
Our taxi guy

Sweet kid

The shy guide who refused to look at camera

Our taxi guy
The post will not be complete without a special mention of our taxi guy..”Deep baba”. He is a 65 year old guy who has one of the sweetest voice and claims that he knows almost everything about everything (which he doesn’t :-)). He even claimed he knew Ambanis :-) and owns a bunglow ..but what made him special was his spirit to work even at his age, his innumerable memories about the region and his love for people around him.

His bunglow  :-) (His photo is shared above)

In addition to this following are a few snapshots to sum up my wonderful experience at Himachal..

My Family


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